I'll be celebrating the sixth anniversary of College Green this Saturday, 28 January! How different my farmers’ market stall looked then, and how much has changed over the years...
I remember turning up for my first market in March 2017 (so keen the stalls hadn't been set up yet) - the stall looked huge so the following month I brought a couple of glass vases of lilac, just to try and fill some space.
My first products were handmade natural soaps, and I'm still making them to the very same recipes now.
In year 2 I discovered Cambridge Imprint wrapping for the soaps, and added a complimentary range of aromatherapy bath soaks, using just three natural salts, colloidal oatmeal and essential oils in clear glass jars.
In year 3 came soy wax candles in tins, which eventually changed, along with the clear glass jars, to amber glass and wax melts.
Gift boxes were added in year 4 with a soap, bath soak, wooden soap dish and mini candle. The best selling has always been Sleep Easy (Lavender) - the perfect gift for someone who needs some rest and relaxation.
Year 5 was the Covid year when people rediscovered soaps (and soap dishes) and I added a still popular local pickup option for people living nearby. And I was awarded a Surfers Against Sewage Plastic Free Champion.
A wider variety of gift boxes were added in year 6 and Japanese-style silk scarf gift wrapping, and last year came yet more gift boxes, a range of reed diffusers, shower steamers and floral facial steams.
This year? I'm working on a series of breathwork cards to compliment the floral facial steams and have plans for a wider variety of candles.
The stall may look very different now, but College Green remains a micro business of one (plus my mother-in-law Sue, who travels from the Forest of Dean every month to help on the stall - thank you Sue!)
But what hasn't changed are the lovely, loyal customers, (both local and around the world), the incredible community of fellow stall holders, and my passion for creating high quality, natural products that help make people's days a little bit better - usually relaxing and getting a great night's restful sleep,
Huge thanks to everyone who has been on the journey with me. If you're in Stroud on Saturday please do call by and say hello - there may not be cake but there will be a range of goodies for you (and there's fabulous cake and Rave coffee at Daisy's farm stall in Cornhill).